“Historians have long been stumped at how people with relatively primitive tools managed to transport the estimated 800 tonnes of material every day from Aswan, 500 miles to the south. Now ancient papyrus, a ceremonial boat and a system of waterworks have revealed the complex infrastructure created by builders to complete the structure.”
“A futurist is a person who spends a serious amount of time—either paid or unpaid—forming theories about society’s future. And although it can be fun to mock them for their silly sounding and overtly religious predictions, we should take futurists seriously. Because at the heart of the futurism movement lies money, influence, political power, and access to the algorithms that increasingly rule our private, political, and professional lives.”
“For me, cultural memoir is a mutating definition. I first began to think in that way when I was working with the boundaries between criticism – literary, cultural, or whatever – which I had done for so many years, and memoir. I realised that I needed, in some way, to merge and to keep those two forms in dialogue, interrogating – as we like to say – each other. So, I began to think of cultural memoir. Initially I was just working obviously with non-fiction but, as you can see, fiction and theatre make their way in here, too.”
Rick Tjia: “Little do the dancers know how many tens of thousands of dancers I have seen and auditioned to get to this moment in time, little do they know the complexities and the enormous number of hours needed to cast one show, much less 22 at the same time – all the time – and counting. Little do they know how much audition ‘success’ is out of their control and how much of it actually is. But they wouldn’t know, and I guess I wouldn’t expect them to. During this wait time the question going through the dancers’ minds is, what is the secret? … There is no mystery, there is no secret.”
Academic institutions are now the biggest steward of poets, who teach everything from freshmen composition courses to graduate workshops. While the financial viability of this arrangement for writers seems to be waning, as universities and colleges find it easier and cheaper to exploit the labor of academics, it is still the uncomfortable status quo.
Daughter of conductor Henri Casadesus and harpist Marie-Louise Beetz, mother of conductor Jean-Claude, composer Dominique, painter Béatrice, and actress Martine Casadesus, Gisèle joined the Comédie-Française in 1934 at age 20, where she played 120 roles over almost three decades. Afterwards, she had an extensive career in both theater and film; her final screen performance, at age 96, was with Gérard Depardieu in the 2010 film La Tête en friche. (in French; Google Translate version here)
In 1980, Henry Kissinger (the former US secretary of state and a non-native English speaker, originally from Germany) told Arianna Huffington (the Greek immigrant and entrepreneur/writer who would eventually start The Huffington Post) not to worry about [her] accent, ‘because you can never, in American public life, underestimate the advantages of complete and total incomprehensibility’.
In the early 19th century, the young George Moses Horton used to create impromptu poems for students at the University of North Carolina. “He also began publishing more serious poems, like ‘On Liberty and Slavery,’ in newspapers, and in 1829 became the first African-American in the South to publish a book. His efforts to gain freedom through his writing failed. But he was able to buy his time from his owner. … And now, from the archives, comes a previously unknown essay by Horton, which sheds oblique but suggestive light on his possible role in campus controversies over race, power and free speech that sound strikingly similar to those raging today.”
“The museum, in Manhattan, made the decision after it had come under unrelenting pressure from animal-rights supporters and critics over works in the exhibition, ‘Art and China After 1989: Theater of the World.'” The museum’s statement said, in part, “Although these works have been exhibited in museums in Asia, Europe and the United States, the Guggenheim regrets that explicit and repeated threats of violence have made our decision necessary.”
With the flood-damaged Wortham Theater Center, HGO’s home, out of commission until at least next May, the company has decided to set up a flexible 1,700-seat performance space – dubbed the “HGO Resilience Theater” – in Exhibition Hall A3 at the George R. Brown Convention Center.
Lyn Gardner: “At a time when newspapers are facing financial disaster and theatre coverage is one of the first casualties, the BBC should step up to the plate in a way it has neglected in the past. … If Radio 5 Live can have sports news every half-hour, why can’t it have a few minutes of arts news too? Just as many people would be interested to know about the casting of Follies or National Theatre Wales’ plans to make a show about the NHS as would want to know who is in the England cricket team.”
So You Think You Know Zurbarán?
The Meadows Museum at Southern Methodist University is currently exhibiting Zurbarán: Jacob and His Twelve Sons, Paintings From Auckland Castle, a noteworthy exhibition for a couple of reasons. First, the paintings are totally fresh to the … read more
AJBlog: Real Clear Arts Published 2017-09-25
Higdon on Cold Mountain
Opera lovers can be forgiven for imagining the works they love were born in a flash of inspiration. Sometimes the journey is a bit more arduous. The UNCSA Composition Department met with Jennifer Higdon via … read more
AJBlog: Infinite Curves Published 2017-09-25
In his recommendations, Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke isn’t simply calling on Trump to unilaterally shrink national monuments and weaken protections on hundreds of thousands of acres of public land. He is also exhorting the president to team up with Congress to undermine the Antiquities Act itself. And, indeed, a legislative assault on the law is already underway.
Yes, algorithms are getting better all the time and related content is getting more relevant. What does that mean? More wasted time on Facebook. That “quick look at a notification” turns into five minutes watching the “greatest premier league goals from the 1990’s.” Fun? Yes. Life-improving? Not so much.
In the past, the Turner Prize has been famed for works like Damien Hirst, with his cow in formaldehyde, Tracey Emin’s unmade bed, and Martin Creed’s The Lights Going On and Off. Only artists under 50 have been eligible before – but this year, Anderson, 52, and Himid, 63, have taken their places in the nominees’ exhibition after the age restriction was lifted. They are the bookies’ favourites to win.
Did Feng Xiaogang delay the film – a romance set against the Cultural Revolution and China’s brief war against Vietnam – himself, because of poor ticket sales, or did party officials make a decision to delay it in advance of the Communist Party congress? Probably the latter: “Youth had already passed the scrutiny of Chinese censors, and was shown at the Toronto Film Festival this month. But the memories and themes evoked by the film may have prompted senior officials to reverse approval for its release during this sensitive political season.”